Monday, August 27, 2018

No child should miss out.

A child cries next door. His sobs are heart-wrenching. He has come home from the first day of school, begging not to return. I feel his pain. School has started, and year after year, I have the same concerns.

All children learn differently. We are as different as our fingerprints. We all think differently, see things differently, capture and hold things differently. So how can we toss kids into a classroom teaching them all the same way? I know from experience what it is to be different.

My mind travels over everything all at once. I don't miss much. Never did. I was/am an observer. That means that when I am in a conversation, I am  also taking in everything around me. When I walk down the street, I take in the people, the sites, the sounds. My senses are tuned in to everything. Is it overwhelming? Not in the sense you might think. I know that by what I am, I add more to my life and those around me. I empathize, feeling what others feel. I am open to learning constantly. However, learning in a classroom was boring for me. I was not a book learner. I am a visual learner even though I love to read. I do not like silence. When it is too quiet, I find myself looking for sounds and getting distracted. I could never do homework without music or the TV. Yes, I had trouble with school.

As a child, I lived as an introvert. Only as an adult did I learn that I am really and extrovert. I always felt like the odd girl out never quiet fitting in. Our home was always filled with people, but we girls learned to serve and sit on the side. In school, we had limited activities, so I never really found my niche. I understand that little boy next door. I was just like him every year of my youth.

So what can be done to help kids like me and kids who are not tuned in the way education tells us they should be? Perhaps there needs to be more thought put into individual learning and exploring ways to turn kids on to those things that make them want to learn. New ways of teaching might be considered. We have certainly done it the same way ever since schools began. New, creative ways to reach kids and to help them soar. Allow them to learn individually.

I just talked to the twins about their first day in first grade. Their favorite part of the day was lunch. Ah, kids after my own heart. Lunch and recess. Most kids would agree. Wouldn't it be great if the kids came home thrilled about a new thing they discovered, that they are excited to go back tomorrow to learn more? Shouldn't every child find their dreams where they can create and build us a better world through those gifts with which they were born?

A child cries, and I want to lift him up and tell him that there is a path to his laughter and joy in learning. No child should miss out on possibilities. 

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